Hayden Panettiere Praised by Postpartum Depression Groups: She "Is One of Us Now"

Nashville Hayden Panettiere Where He Leads Me - H 2012

Nashville Hayden Panettiere Where He Leads Me - H 2012

"The more of us who speak publicly ... the better."

Hayden Panettiere has helped untold women who struggled with postpartum depression by going public with her own battle with the condition, this according to two prominent support groups.

"For Hayden first to publicly share her experience with PPD and then to be open about deciding to seek out further professional treatment, is important," said Katherine Stone of Postpartum Progress. "Most of the time prominent women are very reluctant to share that they may have needed therapy or medication to recover because of their fear of judgment, the same judgment that hundreds of thousands of other moms who get these illnesses every year fear as well."

"The more of us who speak publicly," Stone continued, "including female business executives, entertainment industry stars, community leaders and others, about how real maternal mental illness is, the better. … Hayden is one of us now, and her story will surely help someone else."

Sharon Gerdes, vice president of Postpartum Support International, agreed. 

"Actress Hayden Panettiere is to be applauded for going public with her struggles with postpartum depression since the birth of her daughter ten months ago and for seeking treatment," Gerdes said in a statement to THR.

Gerdes encouraged women suffering from the symptoms of PPD to seek the help that they deserve, adding that "one in seven new mothers experiences postpartum depression" and that it affects "women of every culture, age, income level and race."

Panettiere announced her decision to seek treatment for postpartum depression earlier this week.